Cannon Cat Review

Cats typically land on their feet after they take a spill. You’ve probably seen your own feline plop neatly on all fours after accidentally rolling off the china hutch (followed by that quick and cool ‘I meant to do that’ groom that the species presumably perfected within 10 minutes of being domesticated). Cannon Cat is a fun and unique action/ puzzle game for iOS that lands on its feet about nine out of ten times– and hey, who really needs to worry about that one occasional slip up? That’s why cats have nine lives, right?

Cannon Cat takes place in a bizarre airborne world that’s evidently overseen by a deity with a strange sense of humor: fish can fly, but many species of birds remain ground-bound. This irritates the still-flightless penguins and emus, and they conspire to wreck the flying fishies’ fun by locking them all away in bubbles. The brave Cannon Cat resolves to come to the fishes’ rescue, and he catapults himself from cannon to cannon in order to save them all.

Always wear a helmet.

If you spent the ‘˜90s with any of the Donkey Kong Country (DKC) games for the SNES, you’ll immediately recognize the inspiration for Cannon Cat. Parts of DKC challenged players to soar over bottomless pits by blasting to and from barrel cannons, and that’s more or less the core mechanic for Cannon Cat.

The game is separated into different levels, and each level has multiple cannons and fish. Kitty needs to shoot from one cannon to the next (performed with a simple tap on the screen), collect as many fish as possible, and exit the level safely via a gate. If he misses a shot– well, presumably there’s still a surface world, and getting there is simply a matter of a loooong fall.

Ideally, you want to rescue every fish in a level. Doing so will help you earn ‘Sparks,’ which can be used to purchase power-ups that help ease you through difficult levels. You can, for instance, utilize items that slow down time and shield you from the angry penguins that hover around some cannons (remember the Zinger bees in DKC? Same idea).

I think I saw this once on Mythbusters.

Cannon Cat is a solid game. Its concept and its hero stand out, and that’s saying something in a busy market that’s already crowded with physics games and cute mascots. It even makes a compelling case for re-doing every level until you catch every fish: if you don’t nab every fish before exiting a level, Cannon Cat will be a sad kitty, and who wants to be held responsible for making a kitty sad?

However, the game is somewhat repetitive. The aesthetics don’t vary much from one stage to the next, and you’ll screw up repeatedly on the tougher levels before you nail down the cannon’s flight paths and the enemies’ patterns. The power-ups are a big help, of course, but they’re one-shot items that cost a lot of Sparks to buy. You can earn Sparks by rescuing all your fishie friends in good time, but you don’t earn much (or anything at all) if you do badly. If you’re low on Sparks and you desperately need power-ups, well, you can always purchase some via microtransactions.

By all means though, give Cannon Cat a try. It’s undeniably addictive, it’s cute, and you can spend time pondering the deep questions surrounding its concept: why is a cat rescuing goldfish, anyway? Is he going to eat them later, maybe after batting them around for a little bit?

We may never know.

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